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Recently, as part of our AEP Executive Book Club, I had the opportunity to host a webinar, A Conversation With Endeavor’s Linda Rottenberg, about her book “Crazy is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags.”

As co-founder and CEO of Endeavor, her mission is to help entrepreneurs turn ideas into action, no matter how inexperienced the founders or outlandish the concept.

In case you missed it, check out my key takeaways from a great session.

1. Crazy can be okay.

Linda believes if you aren’t being called crazy you probably aren’t doing enough. Successful entrepreneurs give themselves permission to do things. This is true for those who start their own businesses, but also those within companies who start their own projects.

One example was Clorox, where two women in VP roles wanted to make a “green” product. Instead of asking for permission or seeking funds they began to make the product in their homes. In the first year that Clorox Green was adopted, it grossed 26 million dollars.

2. Free to Fail Zone.

Linda emphasized the importance of allowing employees to fail, which starts first with respect. It is important to know that every decision will have learning moments.

So, how is this done? One company created a prize for the “best” failed idea. Creating a culture where failure is an option allows employees to think outside the box in a safe environment.

3. Go big and go home.

As Linda put it be, “less super and more human.” She noted that millennials care more about doing good in the world and they want to have a life outside of work.

Her emphasis was that businesses should adopt work-life integration. That means understanding if an employee may need to take a personal call during work hours, because they may spend some weekends answering work emails. The best businesses will just have this be part of their culture.

4. Be Nimble.

As Walt Disney put it, “I’m more comfortable when things are a little turbulent rather than smooth as whip cream.”

Linda points out that successful entrepreneurs seek chaos as a friend. Being nimble and thinking on your feet are critical to the success of not only individual employees, but the entire company.

These are great tips for any successful business leaders wanting to create an environment open to innovation.

Have you read “Crazy is a Compliment”? Or have other tips for encouraging innovation? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

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